Sam Philip17 June 2009

First look at Audi A5 Sportback

Audi’s five-door coupe is out, and we’re not half confused

Audi A5 Sportback

Audi has released the first teaser shot of its new niche-busting crossover, the A5 Sportback, and it's fair to say Top Gear is a little confused.

The A5 is, according to Audi, a sleek five-door coupe with the bootspace of an estate and the comfort of a saloon. Essentially it's an A5 coupe with a pair of rear doors and a hatchback boot.

But... hang on. Isn't the A5 the coupe version of the A4? In which case, isn't this just an A4 hatchback?

Not quite, says Audi: the A5 Sportback has frameless doors and a coupe-style roofline which, though giving a sleek profile, somehow allows as much headroom as the A4 saloon.

Audi says the A5 Sportback has bootspace comparable with the A4 Avant - 480 litres with the back seats up, just 10 litres less than the Avant - though luggage space is substantially less with the seats down: 980 litres plays 1,430.

If you're thinking ‘Merc CLS rival', not quite: the A5 is a size down from the big Merc four-door - C-Class rather than E-Class size.

It'll be launched with two petrol engines - the 211bhp 2.0-litre TFSI and 265bhp 3.2-litre V6 - and three diesels: the 170bhp 2.0-litre, 190bhp 2.7-litre and, joyously, the 3.0-litre V6 putting out 240bhp.

We're guessing the latter will be the pick of the bunch... though there are rumours knocking around that Audi might introduce an ‘RS5 Sportback', powered either by a retuned version of the RS4's 4.2-litre V8, or a warmed-up version of the V6 from the S4.

We know for sure that Audi will introduce an entry-level A5 Sportback in the middle of next year, which will undercut the £24,000 base-spec A5 coupe. Until then, expect UK prices to start at around £27,000.

What do you think, Top Gearers? Reckon Audi's on to a winner with this one?

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